Turnout of 59.93%. In an astonishing turn of events, another candidate — unaffiliated Pavel Grudinin, nominated by the Communist Party — attracted more than 10% of votes. With Putin out of the equation, it would mean the decisive victory of Grudinin.
I knew it would happen, but it's still disheartening.
I feel ya. It's one of those things where I don't know which is worse: that the election was rigged or that a majority of one's compatriots voted for someone ... problematic.
I did hear one of your fellow citizens interviewed on NPR a couple days ago who disputed the premise that the elections weren't fair or that free speech was being eroded. I didn't hear the beginning to know if this was just some random парин or someone in a more official capacity. But of course, the scariest form of government for me is not one where free speech is suppressed, but one where free speech doesn't matter.